Sign Up for Sports World News’ Newsletter and never miss out on our most popular stories.
LONDON, ENGLAND – SEPTEMBER 21: The logo for the UEFA EURO 2020 tournament is displayed during the UEFA EURO 2020 launch event for London at City Hall on September 21, 2016 in London, England. (Photo : Dan Istitene/Getty Images)
After 13 days of intense action in the group stages, the knockout rounds now beckon for the 16 remaining teams in the Euro 2020 tournament. Eight mouth-watering matchups will be contested in the round of 16 that will be held from June 26 to June 29.
The round of 16 begins on June 26 with two quarterfinal ties on the schedule. Kicking things off is the much-anticipated clash between Denmark and Wales. It has been an emotional roller-coaster, thus far, for Denmark in this tournament, losing not only their first two matches in this event but also their star player Christian Eriksen who collapsed on the pitch in their group opener.
Can the Danes continue their fairytale run?
However, they staged a miraculous recovery, beating Russia 4-1 in their final group match to qualify for the last 16. The Danes will next face Wales, who reached the semifinals back in 2016. The Gareth Bale-led squad grabbed four points in their group matches, beating Turkey and drawing against Switzerland before losing to powerhouse Italy.
Following the Denmark-Wales clash is the showdown between Italy and Austria. The Italians enter this matchup as the overwhelming favorites, having won each of their three group matches. They are now on an 11-game winning streak, recording a clean sheet in all of those games. Italy will look to stretch that unbeaten run against Austria, who finished Group C in second place after recording wins against North Macedonia and Ukraine.
Action picks up on June 27 with Netherlands taking on the Czech Republic in Budapest, and Belgium squaring off with Portugal in Seville. The Dutchmen have fared extremely well in this tournament, winning all three of their group matches. They will look to record their first win in a Euros knockout stage since 2004 against the Czechs who finished third in Group D behind England and Croatia.
The round of 16 tie between Portugal and Belgium promises to be a humdinger with the in-form Cristiano Ronaldo taking on the world’s no. 1 side at the moment. Ronaldo has been on fire in this tournament, leading the Golden Boot race with five goals. He scored a brace against France to help Portugal qualify as one of the best third-placed teams.
However, the Portuguese will have their work cut out for them against Belgium, who is flying high in this tournament. Romelu Lukaku, who has scored three goals thus far in the event, led Belgium to a perfect group stage run.
England, Germany renew bitter rivalry in last 16
The fun never stops on June 28 as two more round of 16 ties will be played. The opening match sees Croatia take on Spain in a battle of teams who just managed to qualify for the last 16. Croatia needed a 3-1 win over Scotland in their final group match to qualify in Group D while Spain’s only win in this tournament came in their group finale against Slovakia which they won 5-0.
Following that match is the showdown between reigning World Cup champions France and Switzerland. The Les Bleus took the top spot in Group F after a 2-2 draw with Portugal while the Swiss finished third in Group A with four points.
June 29 marks the end of the round of 16 with England taking on Germany at the Wembley Stadium and Sweden squaring off with Ukraine. England and Sweden enter this matchups as favorites, having won both of their groups with ease. The Three Lions will be wary of Germany, though, the team that eliminated them in the Euro 96 semifinal.
Quite concerning for England is the situation of both Mason Mount and Ben Chilwell, who are currently self-isolating after coming into contact with Billy Gilmour, who had a positive COVID-19 diagnosis after the England vs. Scotland game. Mount has been a vital cog for England and will be needed against Germany.
READ MORE ON SWN:
© 2018 Sportsworldnews.com All rights reserved. Do not reproduce without permission.